Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - The Grinnell College Center for the Humanities will host speaker Geoffrey Harpham of the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, on Tues., Sept. 27. Harpham will give a public lecture titled “From Eternity to Here: Shrinkage in American Thinking about Higher Education” at 4:15 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus.

The National Humanities Center, where Harpham serves as president and director, is the only institute worldwide fully dedicated to the advanced study of humanities, which includes such fields as classical and modern languages, the arts, philosophy, and religion. Harpham is a literary scholar and author of several books on the role of ethics in literary analysis and the role of language in intellectual history.

Grinnell’s own Center for the Humanities, directed by Shuchi Kapila, associate professor of English, supports research and teaching, as well as invited talks, symposia, roundtable discussions, and ongoing activities that draw attention to scholarly work across disciplines and historical periods.

“The humanities by definition are about the vastness of human experience so the research and communication in these fields concern us all,” Kapila said. “We are especially pleased to have Geoffrey Harpham open our year of programming with a relevant discussion of what’s happening in higher education and how that impacts culture and society.”

Approximately one-third of Grinnell students graduate with degrees in humanities fields of study. More information about the Grinnell Center for the Humanities is available by contacting Kapila at, 641-269-3655.